Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ribbed Brown Stockings

Barnwell ... facing south ... Sunday morning
I’ve been telling you my favourite parts of the week-end in Barnwell,” said Kelvin.  “Now you tell me yours,” he asked as we were driving back home.  

So I have been thinking of my favourite part of the weekend spent with Molly, Nadine, Sharon, Bev, Betty, Ralph, Preston and Maureen.  We shared 2 dinners and one hearty breakfast enjoying the cinnamon buns, the recipe to which is below.  Some of the time Preston held a tape recorder, taping the reminiscences of the 7 siblings.  One story of the past would trigger a memory of another so there was no lag in the conversation.
"...the dust storms would circle in ..."
The image that is the strongest for me happened late in the evening, after some had gone to work on genealogy.  The women left behind will talked about washing clothes, hanging them out on the barbed wire fence to air dry in the summer and freeze dry in the water.   
One of the big difficulties was to get them back off of the fence without having the barb wire snag the material.  
The other was the horror of seeing a dust storm circling in from the north west, about to blow through the clothes that had just been laid out.  The vocal patterns became breathless talking about the rush to gather the clothes up and get them in the house before they had to be re-washed, Molly’s thin left arm reaching far away from her body, pointing to the north.             
Hers is not the only arm that is thin.  Nadine has lost 100 pounds, so much weight that she is in a wardrobe for a tall, slender woman, but one three inches shorter than she used to be.  But the wardrobe under discussion  was the one from their youth -- the one dress for Sunday and only other dress they had, the one they were to wear for the week to school. 

"I hated those brown ribbed long stockings...."
“How I hated those long ribbed brown stockings,” Nadine said. . “They had to be worn from Fall until Easter.  I didn’t mind them the first time I put them on after they were washed and they fit nicely,” she said, stretching her right leg out and gesturing rolling an imaginary one over her toes, past her ankle, smoothly drawing her two hands over her calf and running them up to the top of her thigh, with an imaginary twist of the hips to make them really fit.  
“But on the days of the week, that they had to be worn, for they did have to be worn again until it was washday, they were baggy and loose, the material still holding the memory of the previous day, ... or last previous days of wearing.  Yes, I was so glad when it was Easter and we could wear short stockings, again.”

1 comment:

  1. What a perfect description of twice or thrice worn stockings. Great images, verbally constructed and with the camera. Thank you.

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